More Sustainable Choice
Starting in summer 2022, we have developed a criteria to test our products against, to determine which items in our range contain the greatest amounts of materials that are better for the planet. To qualify, More Sustainable Choice products must use a minimum of 50% more sustainable materials, which we have defined as: recycled content, organic cotton, non-mulesed wool , RDS down and Tencel. Where a DWR is used, this must be PFC free for a product to be highlighted as More Sustainable Choice.
As knowledge increases with regards to the environmental effects of plastic waste, questions have been raised about the impact of synthetic fibres shedding from textiles and clothing. Montane is committed to working with our textile suppliers and organisations such as the European Outdoor Group (EOG) to continuously monitor the situation and the viable options available, which can help to limit the impact of the products we produce.
Invest: Higher quality materials will last longer as well as shedding fewer microfibres when washed. Montane strongly believes that committing to quality materials from reputable fabric mills allows our products to be as durable as possible, extending their lifespan and lowering their environmental impact.
Wash Less: Only wash your kit when absolutely necessary, to reduce water consumption, limit microfibre shedding and extend the lifetime of your garment. Many of Montane’s next to skin products are treated with Polygiene, a Bluesign approved anti-odour treatment which reduces the need for regular washing whilst keeping the wearer smelling fresh!
Catch the microfibres: Research has shown that front-loading washing machines reduce the number of microfibres shed during a wash cycle. To further reduce this consider using a GUPPYFRIEND washing bag or a Cora Ball to catch the microfibres and prevent them from contaminating waterways.
Single Use Plastic Project
Since 2019 Montane has been a member of the European Outdoor Groups (EOG) Single Use Plastic Project. This project is working to significantly reduce single use plastic waste in the outdoor industry, by recapturing and recycling polybags. This is to limit the need for, and reduce pressure on virgin resources and keep polybags out of landfill. The focus of this work is on polybags as these were quickly identified as the industry’s largest source of single use plastic pollution.
The Single Use Plastic Project is a brilliant way in which the outdoor industry has come together to collectively tackle an issue all clothing brands face. Having established that recycled LDPE (low density polyethylene) is the most widely recycled material for polybags (as well as effectively protecting the product), we are proud to say that Montane completed the transition to using 100% recycled LDPE in all of our polybags in 2021.
Montane continues to work closely with our fabric suppliers to introduce the latest recycled materials to our product range where possible, helping to reduce demand on virgin fibres made from oil. In turn, this helps reduce CO2 emissions and limit quantities of virgin fibre ending up in a landfill.
Performance and longevity are at the heart of our designs, and where these are not compromised we have integrated recycled fabrics from suppliers including PERTEX, POLARTEC, PRIMALOFT and Allied Feather and Down into our range.
In recent years growing concerns have emerged regarding the use of PFCs. As the carbon chains break down, the carbon molecules are subsequently released into the environment. These molecules do not break down and have been found almost everywhere on the planet. One way to reduce this process is to use shorter chemical chains, made up of fewer carbon molecules.
Montane has worked hard to eliminate C8 (8 carbon molecules) DWR chemicals from our supply chain by switching all of our nominated materials to a C6 (6 carbon molecules) DWR. Our longer term goal is to completely eliminate PFCs from our supply chain and we are working with nominated partner mills who are trialling new chemistry. As yet we are unsatisfied with the level of performance which can be met from PFC free technologies for our more technical products designed for use in extreme environments, and will continue to monitor the alternatives as they emerge.
In Autumn Winter 2015, Montane became the first brand in the world to implement the Responsible Down Standard (RDS)
The RDS is a comprehensive global, third-party-certified, animal welfare and traceability standard for down and feathers. The RDS ensures that the down in a product does not come from birds that have been live-plucked or force-fed, and that the welfare of the birds is protected throughout their full life.
The entire supply chain – farms, collectors, slaughterhouses, down processors, sewing factories and distribution centres – are inspected by independent, professional certification bodies annually to guarantee complete traceability and compliance.
Montane sources small quantities of leather for use in some of our accessories. All of the leather used by Montane is CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) certified, which ensures that skins from endangered species are not used. We are currently working towards certifying any leather used in Montane products to a more comprehensive third-party certificate. This will help to protect environment through the processes used to source, tan and dye the leather, as well as the workers in this supply chain. No exotic skins, angora, or silk are used in any of Montane’s products.
All garment factories Montane works with globally are working in alignment with the Code of Labour Practises Montane has committed to through our Fair Wear Foundation membership.
With huge quantities of insecticides, pesticides and water being used in conventional cotton production, Montane has committed all of our t-shirts to use 100% organic cotton. This gives cotton farmers greater flexibility, protects them from first-hand chemical use and prevents chemicals from draining into local waterways used for agriculture and drinking water.
All of our organic cotton is sourced in India and our organic cotton t-shirts are made in a factory certified to SA8000 (Social Certification Standard) and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). Our cotton is not sourced in the Xinjiang region of China, where there have been reports of forced labor and human rights violations.
PVC and Phthalates
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is commonly used for the screen printing of garments, in conjunction with plasticisers such as phthalates. Prints are heat-fixed to fabrics to ensure durability throughout their lifespan, however, phthalates can leach out from garment manufacturers wastewater, and even onto the wearer's skin after purchase. Phthalates have been linked to disrupting hormone levels as well as being a suspected carcinogen. For this reason, Montane only use printing inks which are free from PVC and phthalates.
The t-shirt manufacturer Montane uses is also GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, as is their local dye house. This ensures that any wastewater is processed in line with GOTS certification, and monitored at regular intervals to maintain this and ensure zero discharge of effluents (chemical residues) into local water systems.